Application Security //

Database Security

10/5/2011
05:05 PM
50%
50%

Five Worst Practices In Database Encryption

Poor encryption deployments risk too much critical information within databases

Database encryption can add a valuable layer of security to critical data stores, but only if the encryption is done well. As the number of database encryption deployments increases, so, too, does the number of bad encryption deployments.

Following are the five most common encryption worst practices that security experts see organizations engage in today. To get the most out of their security dollars, enterprises would do well to avoid these pitfalls.

1. Storing Keys In The Wrong Place
According to some security experts, one of the worst sins of database encryption is to comingle your encryption keys with the data they're used to encrypt.

"If you’re encrypting sensitive data in your database, then one of the worst practices is to store either the key used to encrypt the data or the authentication credentials that are used to get that key in the same database as the encrypted data," says Luther Martin, chief security architect for Voltage Security. "Doing that gives you the illusion of security, but actually provides very little real security."

To really protect your data, keep the management of encryption keys separate from the database that stores the data encrypted with those keys.

2. Failing To Centralize Key Management
Many times keys end up in the wrong place -- and poorly secured, at that -- because the organization is simply too overwhelmed to keep track of them.

"One of the main issues is the sheer number of encryption keys and digital certificates in use within organizations," says Jeff Hudson, CEO of Venafi. "Research shows that it is not uncommon for an organization to be managing certificates and keys in the thousands, if not tens of thousands."

Many organizations are sold encryption, but not the means or knowledge to manage it, Hudson says.

"Encryption is only half the solution. IT departments must track where the keys are and monitor and manage who has access to them. Organizations need to quickly come to terms with how crucial encryption keys are to safeguarding the entire enterprise," he says. "This heightens the need for both a deepened understanding of encryption best practices, as well as automated key and certificate management with access controls, separation of duties, and improved polices."

Ideally, organizations should endeavor to centralize key management as much as possible in order to know what the organization has in its inventory, where keys are located, and how they're protected.

NEXT PAGE: Recipe for disaster.

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Making the Case for a Cybersecurity Moon Shot
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  2/19/2019
New Free Tool Scans for Chrome Extension Safety
Dark Reading Staff 2/21/2019
Privacy Ops: The New Nexus for CISOs & DPOs
Amit Ashbel, Security Evangelist, Cognigo,  2/18/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
5 Emerging Cyber Threats to Watch for in 2019
Online attackers are constantly developing new, innovative ways to break into the enterprise. This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at five emerging attack trends and exploits your security team should look out for, along with helpful recommendations on how you can prevent your organization from falling victim.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises Are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Data breach fears and the need to comply with regulations such as GDPR are two major drivers increased spending on security products and technologies. But other factors are contributing to the trend as well. Find out more about how enterprises are attacking the cybersecurity problem by reading our report today.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-8955
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-21
In Tor before 0.3.3.12, 0.3.4.x before 0.3.4.11, 0.3.5.x before 0.3.5.8, and 0.4.x before 0.4.0.2-alpha, remote denial of service against Tor clients and relays can occur via memory exhaustion in the KIST cell scheduler.
CVE-2019-1698
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-21
A vulnerability in the web-based user interface of Cisco Internet of Things Field Network Director (IoT-FND) Software could allow an authenticated, remote attacker to gain read access to information that is stored on an affected system. The vulnerability is due to improper handling of XML External E...
CVE-2019-1700
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-21
A vulnerability in field-programmable gate array (FPGA) ingress buffer management for the Cisco Firepower 9000 Series with the Cisco Firepower 2-port 100G double-width network module (PID: FPR9K-DNM-2X100G) could allow an unauthenticated, adjacent attacker to cause a denial of service (DoS) conditio...
CVE-2019-6340
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-21
Some field types do not properly sanitize data from non-form sources in Drupal 8.5.x before 8.5.11 and Drupal 8.6.x before 8.6.10. This can lead to arbitrary PHP code execution in some cases. A site is only affected by this if one of the following conditions is met: The site has the Drupal 8 core RE...
CVE-2019-8996
PUBLISHED: 2019-02-21
In Signiant Manager+Agents before 13.5, the implementation of the set command has a Buffer Overflow.